Ancient Greek Sicily Tetradrachm Coin from Leontini - 450 BC

Ancient Coins - Ancient Greek Sicily Tetradrachm Coin from Leontini - 450 BC
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A beautiful and well provenanced ancient Greek silver tetradrachm from Leontini, Sicily. Struck circa 450 BC from dies of  fine Severe / Early Classical style.

The obverse (image II) with a graceful portrait of the patron deity of Leontini, Apollo. He is shown facing right, gazing skywards and crowned with a laurel wreath.  His long hair tied into a chignon, sitting at the nape of the neck, loose curls cascade down his cheek and along the forehead.

The reverse (image i) with a ferocious, open-jawed lion facing right and framed by the produce of the region, four plump grains of barley. The legend around reading:


"Of the Leontines"

Fifth century BC Greece is perhaps the most important period in the development of western culture. The art created during this glorious age of innovation was also experiencing a dramatic change; evolving from the stiff, powerful depictions of archaic art to the sensuous, refined elegance of the Classical.

This coin was created during the middle of the century by a city just freed from the rule of tyrants. Perhaps in celebration of this the Leontines chose a new design for their coinage. The obverse no longer shows the old Syracusan image of the four horse chariot but instead boasts a portrait of Leontini's patron deity, executed with poised elegance. The reverse retains the city's old depiction of the lion, the sacred beast of Apollo, now shown in a more lively, playful style. The reverse also works as a pun on the city name, for the Greek word for lion is leon.  

A beautifully toned, highly pleasing example, with a documented provenance.

Diameter: 25.80 mm.

Weight: 16.90 g.


Ex. Bonhams - Vecchi & Sons, Auktion 6, 14 - 15 September 1981, London, lot 71.

Preis SKU: 30642
US$ 3,000.00
  • € 2,562.30
  • £ 2,337.90
  • AUD 4,212.00
  • CHF 2,768.40
  • CAD 4,016.70

Wechselkurs: 09/30/20

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